2021 NaPoWriMo April 5. Chartres Flicker of Candles

Prompt: After Mary Szybist’s “We Think We Do Not Have Medieval Eyes”

Rules: Four, seven-line stanzas; every line starts with the first letter of the corresponding line of the model poem; ten syllables per line.


Chartres Flicker of Candles

Many a time I went there, a pilgrim,
on an obstinate search for lost beauty
in the eyes of a silent Madonna,
in the flicker of candles deep in sand
purposely burning to herald freedom
under a vaulted dome adorned with stars
silent, unwatched, unknown. No one looks up

or remembers the fall from paradise.
Curious forgetfulness, pale green moss,
idle birds of fantasy aflutter,
veiled by waters churning, roar of thunder.
Goldilocks got it right, tasted it all.
Coy apple offered to Adam kneeling,
in pale Chartres stone, as if proposing,

unsuspecting, satisfied to be there,
though sculpted Eve floats Ophelia-like
in dream or drunk from apple alchemy.
That’s how medieval eyes fantasized,
hewing in their minds a happy tale
from an arcane, cobweb-covered archive,
their art unmasks an untold mystery.

The veil haunts those who recall the battle
as ever fought to besiege those captive
inside a different reality,
blinded by the glint of dagger and scythe
and the dazzle of misunderstanding.
Benevolence whispers a subtle code
tallied in blue ice, sculpted Chartres stone.

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